Why use templates? And how?

October 19, 2021

Why use templates? And how?

For every patient encounter, you need to write a clinical note. Starting each one from scratch is tedious and time-consuming. Now, what can you do about it? 🤔

Enter templates! 🙂

Templates can drastically change the way you write your clinical notes.

Around 60% of your note's content is repetitive, thus can be standardized.

That information can be saved in a template, as a reusable pre-written text. When you use a template, you only have to type the extra text needed to fill in the missing parts of your note. You customize the template to generate an accurate note. Adding a checkbox or a dropdown menu to a template is a quick and simple way to add/remove any info in your note.

Building templates

Of course, you still need to create these templates. If you've just started using templates, we suggest you begin by exploring those in our library of built-in templates. Pick the templates you like and copy them into yours. Then, you can edit the templates to make them perfect for you.

When building a template, you'll want it to be more comprehensive than your usual note.

Why? Because it's easier to delete or unselect an irrelevant element from your note than to type it if it's needed. For a low abdominal pain template, you may include elements like "last menstrual period" even if it's not relevant to all patients.

Yes, you'll have to put some time and effort in the beginning (not that much in fact!) But you'll quickly be rewarded by cutting on the laborious task of writing clinical notes. Editing a template is much easier than starting a note from scratch.

Templates for quality medicine

Plus, with templates, you're less likely to leave out key information in your notes. How? Well, you won't forget to tell your newly diabetic patient to have her eyes checked as you read that information in your template. And you will systematically request a ferritin level for every elevated LFTs investigation.

Templates can enhance your note quality, which can then improve the consistency and quality of care.

Another benefit of using templates is they follow you everywhere: at home, at the clinic, and at the hospital. They also work in every app on your computer: EMR, EHR, documents...

I hope you know better why you should be using, like every clinician, templates to make your clinical notes. If so, Dilato is a great way to unleash the power of templates.